Areas of Responsibility

What Is a Security Guard/Proprietary Private Security Officer’s Job?

A security guard/proprietary private security officer is assigned to protect specific people and property. This may include detecting some of the same offenses that would cause a peace officer to act, such as a fight or burglary. But it would not include other offenses such as motor vehicle traffic violations or prostitution. This decision is at the discretion of the security guard’s, PPSO’s, PI’s or ACE’s employer.

For example, if you were on duty at a plant gate and you observed two teenagers having an auto race down a public road, you would not try to arrest them. You may decide to report it to the police if a telephone is nearby. But you were hired to protect the plant -not to arrest speeders.

(In fact, you should be suspicious of any activity that may draw you away from your post. It could be a plan to draw your attention away from your duties.)

What Is A Peace Officer’s Job?

Peace officers are law enforcement officers such as Sheriffs and their Deputies, Constables, Marshals, members of city police forces and other officers whose duty is to enforce the law and preserve the public peace. If a law is violated, peace officers are required to pursue and apprehend the person responsible. This is not required of a security guard/proprietary private security officer/private investigator/alarm agent responder!

REMEMBER, a peace officer’s responsibilities are different from a security guard/proprietary private security officer’s responsibilities.

  • SECURITY GUARD/PROPRIETARY PRIVATE SECURITY OFFICERS only protect specific people and property as directed by their employers.
  • POLICE (PEACE OFFICERS) protect all people and all property and enforce laws.

What Other Duties Could A Security Guard/Proprietary Private Security Officer Have?

A security guard/proprietary private security officer may be responsible for maintaining certain company rules established by his/her employer. These could include:

  • Requiring employees to show their badges when entering the property;
  • Inspecting lunch pails as employees leave the plant; or
  • Monitoring safety standards and reporting hazards, blocked exits, fire safety, slippery floors, etc.

A security guard/proprietary private security officer’s supervisor or employer most likely offer instructions on helping employees observe company rules and policies.